The world young people grow up in today is changing ever faster, that pace and scope of change is a huge challenge for young people to make sense of the world, find their place in it and discover meaningful ways of engaging in society.
At the same time some large structural problems remain to be solved to allow all young people to live up to their full potential.
Globalizations puts young people into a position of ever increasing need for culture literacy, for understanding of different world views, customs and cultural behavior. Persisting gender inequality limits the basic freedom and human rights of girls and young women, but if the young generation is to create a better society, gender equality is essential.
Around the world more and more people are fighting for more democracy: in countries of authoritarian rule but also in countries with democratic rule, we see those efforts.
Our project, Democracy Beyond Borders, works right at the intersection of these three issues and seeks to harness them for empowering young people and building thriving democratic societies.
Cultural literacy and the understanding for people from different backgrounds is a prerequisite for any democratic society in the 21st century and it is a huge advantage for young leaders to be equipped with it.
No matter the culture, all human beings are equal and so it is fundamental to achieve gender equality and profound understanding for gender issues among young leaders.
Educating and empowering young people in those two aspects will put them into position to work for a more democratic society – they’ll do it together, in empathy for one another, with respect for each other’s opinions and the ability to see the human being.
To bring together young leaders from Sweden, India, East Africa and Thailand and create a truly diverse, multicultural and pluralistic non-formal learning environments for them;
To empower those young leaders to exercise effective, sustainable leadership in the communities;
To provide a platform for long-term cooperation beyond borders on the issues of gender equality;
- To promote cultural literacy among young leaders and give them tools to foster cultural literacy in their home communities;
- To ensure profound understanding for gender issues and give tools to effectively engage for change;
- To offer a creative, safe, enabling environment to explore own stereotypes and overcome them together with peers from different backgrounds;
- To enable the creation and implementation of a joint action for more gender equality, that is implemented by all participants on local level adjusted to the respective community, and has a global dimension because all participate run it together;
- To sustainably empower young leaders to implement advocacy meetings discussing youth issues with decision-makers and to actually conduct a number of advocacy meetings.
Sweden (Nykterhetsrörelsens Scoutförbund, NSF) – developer of the concept
India (Indian Temperance Youth Federation, ITYF)
Kenya (Students Campaign Against Alcohol and other Drugs, SCAD)
Thailand (Stop Drink Network, SDN)
- Autumn 2014 – Democracy Beyond Borders empowerment course, in Thailand
5 days kick-off meeting in Thailand – functioning as get-to-know each other, empowerment and non-formal education (NFE) course
The organisations will be represented by 4 young people each.
The objectives of the NFE course is to facilitate intercultural learning with innovative and interactive methods; to provide basic understanding for gender-issues; to enable the participants to teach one another about democracy in their society; to build capacity for advocacy action by all participants in their communities and explore the common use of social media channels.
- Intermediate period – Filling democracy with life beyond borders, in respective country
Each organization arranges multiplying workshops to spread the knowledge and expertise from the empowerment course (End of 2014/ beginning 2015).
During spring and summer 2015 all participants and organizations conduct advocacy on public health and gender issues, for example alcohol-related violence against girls.
Progressively using social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest) the participants will continuously share their work, their experiences and results and keep each other updated.
- Autumn 2015 – Democracy Beyond Borders making it a movement course, in Kenya
The first crucial part of this 5-day course is to evaluate, de-brief and help one another to make sense of the experienced during the “Filling democracy with life beyond borders” period.
Throughout the course, intercultural learning will be on-going even powered by the sense of having a common mission and sharing common experiences, despite being from different backgrounds.
There will be in-depth workshops about gender issues and there’ll be more NFE on issues of democracy.
The final step of this course will build on the common use of social media during the “Filling democracy with life beyond borders” period and will be all about coming up with the final outcome:
- Preparing a campaign that can run on local level in all participating countries, be shared globally over the social media, in order to promote gender equality – ultimately leading to empowering young leaders with concrete tools to continue engagement in their communities but with a global context and support from friends from abroad.